My son works as a fishing guide north of Yellowknife! His goal is to have his clients to catch lots of fish. If one of his clients wants to catch salmon that means he must take them to where the salmon hang out; they have to take the right fishing tackle; and in general, be prepared. Otherwise — his client won’t catch salmon!
Well the same is true for networking –
- You’ve got to know what/who you are looking for (just like you need to know what type of fish you want to fish for; you need to know what type of dream client you want)
- You’ve go to the right fishing hole (where your dream client might hang out);
- You’ve got to go to the fishing hole with the right type of tackle (be prepared to say something that attracts your dream client); and
- you’ve got to go to the right fishing hole!
Your time is precious — make sure that you are getting a good return on your investment – that you’re doing everything you can to ensure you’re your marketing actually converts into clients.
Here’s my TOP tips for making your upcoming networking season just as great as my son’s fishing trips!
- Attend a networking event with a clear goal in mind – find a new client; new supplier; new speaking engagement.
- While at the event, figure out whether you are fishing in the RIGHT pond? Is this where your Dream Client hangs out or people who can connect you to your Dream Client?
- Have a clear, short and simple introduction that a 7-year old can understand! (For more information see below)
- Spend more time asking questions about others; rather than talking about yourself (why are they at the event; is it their first time; tell me more about your family, etc.)
- Remember — No ‘selling’ at networking events — You won’t ask someone to marry you on the first date; so please don’t try to ‘sell’ at a networking event.
- Don’t talk about your ‘process’ or your methods but rather the benefits or outcomes of working with you.
- Networking events are not the place to discuss your programs, packages or prices. Instead learn to book a ‘discovery session’ for later.
- Be prepared with business cards that reflect your brand (link below for more info)
- Collect more business cards than you hand out so that you can be pro-active in follow-up.
- Have a simple & easy to use follow-up system for after networking; possibly sending some educational or information material (more on this to come)
- Don’t you sit/stand in one spot too long – you are there to ‘network’!
- Although it’s nice to say hello to friends, don’ spend all your time with one group or one person.
- Dress appropriately for the event and for your brand.
- Surround yourself with inspiring leaders so sometimes it’s a good idea to attend new and different networking events to stretch yourself.
- Networking is not just face-to-face; but online through various Facebook groups, LinkedIn, etc
If you’d like my Networking Made Easy Checklist – click here!
Good luck fishing/networking!